One of the most recognizable and greatest traditions in all of college football is Ohio State’s marching band spelling out Ohio in script and culminating in the dotting of the I.
It could have been Pitt’s.
Think about it; four letters including an I to be dotted, first you cross the Ts and then you dot the I. Pitt’s band first performed on the field at the Pitt-Ohio Northern game on October 14, 1911 at Forbes Field.
The University of Pittsburgh used William Pitt’s signature as a logo as far back as the 1920s and it even appeared on the women’s basketball team’s uniforms.
“Script Ohio” wasn’t first introduced until many years later at the Ohio State-Pitt game on October 10, 1936. For those not familiar with "Script Ohio," the process is described as Ohio State’s band forming a triple rotating block O and continuing in a follow-the-leader process behind the Drum Major writing out O-H-I-O as if by a giant pen.
Talk about a missed opportunity. Picture the crowd chanting P-I-T-T as the band marches and spells it out in script. Why didn’t someone think of it back then? In hindsight, consider how long it took before wheels started appearing on luggage.
It’s never too late to start a new tradition, or should I say revive an old one. In the past, Pitt’s band marched and spelled out Pitt in script and Pitt’s band has never been bigger than it is today. Pitt begins play this fall in the Atlantic Coast Conference. This could get ACC fans talking about Pitt’s band and the game day experience, not just Pitt’s football team.
Ah, but it will look like copying Ohio State you say. Pitt’s done it in the past so there’s a precedent set. Who says you can’t take an idea, adapt it or even improve it? Pitt also adopted Sweet Caroline which has been sung at Boston Red Sox games since 1997. It’s been sung by other schools as well, and that didn’t stop Pitt from adopting it in 2008. It’s undeniably the moment where Pitt fans cheer their loudest during football games.
Perhaps if "Script Pitt" ever returns on the helmets (memo to the next athletic director – DO IT!) the band could do march & spell Pitt in script on the field as well.
Imagine Pitt’s marching band emerging through a billowing, smoke-covered entrance, high-stepping out of the tunnel marching in cadence beginning to spell Pitt in script. Then, as the crowd builds to a crescendo, the T’s are crossed and finally, dramatically, the I is dotted, as it should have been long before Ohio State did "Script Ohio."